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Flashing light on MOW equipment

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PED
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  • 388 posts
Flashing light on MOW equipment
Posted by PED on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:40 PM

I have just set up some Tomix track cleaning cars with Digitrax DN126 decoders to control the motor speed. The decoder still has unused wires to control 2 functions - normally front/rear lights. I want to use one of those wires to drive a flashing light on top of the car. However, I am not sure how to do that.

If I read the DN126 specs right, those light wires are set for a 500ma max load and I assume that is at 12V. I see lots of sources for flashing led lights that may work but I am not sure what is a good match for the DN126 capabilities. I have seen videos where others have done this but I have not found one who provided the details on what products he used. I know this is a simple task but it is only simple to someone who knows how to pick the right parts. I am not that guy.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:58 PM

Most - but not all - decoders have the ability to do different types of flashing lights, since many engines were equipped with strobe lights or Mars lights. You just need to hook up an LED to the front or rear headlight wires and set the decoder's CVs (control values) that chooses what you want the light to do - when it's on, whether it's on all the time or blinking etc.

I like to use Evans Designs LEDs. They come with the diodes and resistors already attached, so can hook up to pretty much any AC or DC power up to 19V. They come in several sizes and colors.

https://www.walthers.com/products/power-and-controls/lighting-electrical-motors/lighting/led-light-emitting-diodes-sep/manufacturer-name/evan-designs

Stix
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Posted by j. c. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 5:40 PM

this is what i used on my switchers , drilled a 2mm hole in roof and stuck abot 8 scale inches if it out of hole . https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-2MM-YELLOW-Flashing-Water-Clear-Bright-LED-Lamp-With-Free-Resistor-2FY-amy/390559569479?epid=2266933860&hash=item5aef2a1647:g:zbsAAOxyoA1RQUF  painted the top with testors steel paint. with being DCC you could hook it to the ditch light fuction.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 5:40 PM

I'm not a digitax guy, but it looks like you can do strobe effects with that decoder and that LED's require resistors.

LED's are not flashing as purchased, it's the decoders that make them flash.  Commonly used resistors are 1K ohms and soldering seems extremely delicate for the first 3 or 4.  After that it is easy peasy.  You will also need heat shrink tubing.   All that can be found on ebay.

The reisistors can go on either the + or - lead of the led.  However the led will only light if the decoder is hooked up + to + and - to -

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 8:05 PM

 You would just wire a regular LED and a 1K resistor, as shown on any number of "how do I use an LED with a decoder" sites, and instead of using the normal on/off directional lighting, set the decoder for one of the many strobe light settings it offers. There are a couple - rotating beacon, single strobe, double strobe, etc. Pick any.

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

PED
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Posted by PED on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:09 PM

rrinker

 You would just wire a regular LED and a 1K resistor, as shown on any number of "how do I use an LED with a decoder" sites, and instead of using the normal on/off directional lighting, set the decoder for one of the many strobe light settings it offers. There are a couple - rotating beacon, single strobe, double strobe, etc. Pick any.

                                  --Randy

 

 

Thanks Randy and all.,

The DN126 decoder is a very basis decoder and I did not realize that it had an array of light settings I could use. Looks like i just need a small (3mm?) yellow LED and a 1K resister (already have some). Should be easy to hook up with this help.

I am already familiar with Evans Designs. Have purchased various LED setups from them in past. Lots of great stuff for those of us who like stuff already assembled.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 10:56 PM

PED
The DN126 decoder is a very basis decoder and I did not realize that it had an array of light settings I could use.

So that isn't in the spec sheet that came with your Digitrax decoder?

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

PED
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Posted by PED on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:03 AM

tstage

 

 
PED
The DN126 decoder is a very basis decoder and I did not realize that it had an array of light settings I could use.

 

So that isn't in the spec sheet that came with your Digitrax decoder?

Tom

 

No. Digitrax only puts part of the info in its spec sheet that come with a decoder. The full story on working with their decoders is in a seperate manual they publish. I have the manual but did not look at it for this decoder.

This issue was all my fault. The DN126 is listed as a FX3 decoder. If you have read their full manual, you would realize that FX3 means that it has a lot of capabilities not explained in the sheet that comes with the decoder. I failed to make that connection thus I overlooked the obvious. My bad

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

PED
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Posted by PED on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 11:44 AM

Yep...that worked. I wired in a 5mm red LED (prewired to include a resistor) as a test and it worked great. I tried the becon as well as the strobe setting. I liked the strobe setting best. Now I need to order some yellow LED. Will order the 1.8mm and 2mm versions and see which looks best.

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

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